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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Jan 18, 2010 7:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best shows ever poll?

Whenever the "early era-ists" come out of the woodwork to tip the scales against anything post-1972 I always feel compelled to fight back. (and btw, I love 1972 as much as the next head--with 8/27/72 my 2nd favorite show of all time.)

Still, as a completely biased "1977 was the greatest year ever" Deadhead, here's a top-of-the-head list of must-have shows, most of which are very much post-'72.

1) 10/29/77. Best...show...ever. My review stating the case is here for those who care to hear me make the case...again!:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1977-10-29.sbd.miller.92085.sbeok.flac16

2) 8/27/72, Oregon. Is any show more pristine? What don't they play to perfection here? All-time greatest PITB among the many highlights.

3) 9/27/76, Rochester, NY. '76 to me is a warm-up for the glory of the following year. Many of the shows feature fantastic set-lists but are weighted down by slow versions of songs the band seems not quite confident enough to really let loose on. Not so here. Brilliant show, adventurous set list, hardly any mistakes. Highlight: HELP>SLIP>DRUMS>OTHER ONE>WHARF RAT>SLIPKNOT>FRANKLIN'S TOWER>ROUND&ROUND in the 2nd set.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1976-09-27.sbd.miller.87664.sbeok.flac16

4) 5/13/77, Chicago: The most overlooked and underrated of '77. Review also contained in this link:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd77-05-13.sbd.miller.9393.sbeok.shnf

5) 5/9/77, Buffalo: Top 3 H>S>F...best COMES A TIME ever. Everything else just excellent.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd77-05-09.sbd.connor.8304.sbeok.shnf

6) 5/8/77, Cornell. No, it's not overrated. You may have seen The Godfather 1,000 times but you always find yourself watching it AGAIN when you come across it randomly on TV. You feel the same about this show's MORNING DEW. Just admit it.

7) 12/29/77, Winterland. (Dicks Picks #10). Only CHINA>RIDER of the year and they nail it. Crowd goes wild. Best, most rocked-out NFA ever. Whole 2nd set is ablaze. First set's just exactly perfect.

8) 4/16/78, West Virginia: April '78 may be the band's best run of shows next to May of '77. So overlooked and it's a shame. Unbelievably pristine Betty Board here for this show (w/my review as to why it's so great):

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1978-04-16.sbd.cantor.motb.81457.sbeok.flac16

9) 5/1/81, Hampton, VA: Substance over style. If you like well-played shows over shows that have sexy set lists but disappoint in execution, this is your show. Jerry lights the world aflame on LET IT GROW, DEAL, ALTHEA, FRANKLIN'S, HE'S GONE, and more. Outstanding quality AUD:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd81-05-01.wise.clugston.2218.sbeok.shnf

10) 3/29/90, Nassau. Branford. EYES. BIRDSONG. 'nuff said.

11) (This is a Spinal Tap Top 10 list, i.e. "These go to 11."): 7/18/89, Alpine Valley, WI: One of the truly great latter-day "comeback" shows that proved 1985-1988's extreme hit-or-miss era (i'm being kind) was just a set-up for a return to glory. The SUGAR MAG>SCARLET is breathtaking and has to be on a short list of "best segues ever." Whole show is a joy to listen to.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd89-07-18.sbd.9854.sbeok.shnf

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Poster: gphishmon Date: Jan 18, 2010 8:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best shows ever poll?

I have to agree about 85-88 - sadly, since those (along with 84) were my college years, when I caught most of my shows. The three night run at the Spectrum in 86 was probably the worst to that date, despite the strong Morning Dew the 2nd night. The three Tinley Park 1990 shows, which were my only ones from 1989-1991, while not among the best shows of that tour, were still better than almost anything I heard from 1985-88 (9/18/87 is one of the most overrated shows of all time).

This post was modified by gphishmon on 2010-01-18 16:32:27

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Jan 18, 2010 8:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best shows ever poll?

My experience as well...I saw the majority of my shows from '84-'88 and had a great time at all of them....but I WISH I could have been touring from '72-'78 instead (my first show was 1/11/79--at least i got to see one with Keith and Donna!)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 18, 2010 9:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best shows ever poll?

Ha! That was a good one, GC ("woodwork"!)...

Well, as has been said above, very difficult to narrow it down. I will add the following list of shows, but rather than going with just my favs, I will attempt to insert what CLIFF termed the "classic" factor...IE, does the show seem historically significant to fans, and is overall, an important show.

Knowing how hard it is to do for me, when sticking to the early era ALONE, I would go a bit further and say I'll nominate a "run" of nights...taking this approach, I think it is easier to select a few early era shows/runs that MIGHT qualify for consideration...

10-12/13-68: lots of folks like them, historically significant due to playing without PP, as they would do for "most" of their existence.

2-27/2-69: this might be the ONE, since if we go with a "run" it stands out as the one they worked up to for most of fall 68 and spring 69, and many folks pick the Fillmore Live Dead as critical to their DEAD experience listening wise.

2-13/14-70 or 5-13/14-70: as above, the addition of the acoustic material was seminal in bringing "Live Dead meets American Beauty and Workingman's" material together. Either of these runs might fit the bill?

9-17/20-70: pers favs here, and not sure it is as historic a run as the above, but...?

12-4/7-71: this or the Feb 2-18 run might qualify, but doubt they displace Fillmore?

Assume it will irritate some that "runs" replaced "show" but something to consider...

How about you GC--fav run in 77 or 78 that might do it for you?

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Jan 18, 2010 12:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best shows ever poll?

Nice "run" summation, WT....I do love that '68 run myself, even being a late 70's guy by nature...

For me I'd say the 9/26-28 1972 run at the Stanley Theater, NJ is one of the band's greatest...not historically so, maybe, but all 3 shows are killer.

The May 7-9th run 1977 (Boston, Cornell, Buffalo) is hard to beat, as is the 6/7-6/9 1977 Winterland run...

....and even tho' it's not a consecutive run of shows, I would nominate a huge chunk of April 1978 as one of the best collection of shows ever. Start with 4/8/78, add on 4/12, 4/16, and finish with 4/24 and you can't lose.

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Poster: Shooting Dark Star Date: Jan 18, 2010 1:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best shows ever poll?

I too think the '78 spring college run was magical. The Huntington Show is Hot, but I'm not so sure that Williamsburg or even Blacksburg is even better! And as far as the US Blues encore, check out Durham's US Blues a few days ealier..... absolutely rips

(for some reason all my posts appear in duplicate, I hope this one doesn't do the same thing)

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Poster: Shooting Dark Star Date: Jan 18, 2010 1:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best shows ever poll?

I too think the '78 spring college run was magical. The Huntington Show is Hot, but I'm not so sure that Williamsburg or even Blacksburg is even better! And as far as the US Blues encore, check out Durham's US Blues a few days ealier..... absolutely rips

(for some reason all my posts appear in duplicate, I hope this one doesn't do the same thing)

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Poster: sparky999255 Date: Jan 18, 2010 8:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best shows ever poll?

Here is a link to a site with some "best of" lists.

http://www.gratefuldeadprojects.com/Top_100.html